Biography of Bernhardt J. Sibbert

Bernhardt J. Sibbert, an enterprising business man, alive to the opportunities of the present day, is now manager and one of the leading stockholders of the J. B. Romans Company, dealers in hardware, agricultural implements and automobiles at Denison. He was born in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, on the 13th of June, 1869, and is a son of Henry and Elsie (Harson) Sibbert, who were likewise natives of that country. His grandfather, Bernhardt Sibbert, was a lifelong farmer of Germany, where both he and his wife lived to old age. The maternal grandfather, Henry Harson, was also an agriculturist. Unto him and his wife were born several children, including Harold, Johannas, Elizabeth, Mary and Elsie.

Henry Sibbert devoted the greater part of his youth to study, made continuous and gratifying advance in the field of intellectual development and afterward successfully engaged in teaching for many years. He died in Germany in 1908 at the age of seventy-two years, while his wife passed away about 1880. Both were of the Lutheran faith, closely adhering to the teachings of that church. Their family numbered six children, four sons and two daughters, namely: Anton, in the government employ in Germany; Bernhardt J., of this review; Johannas H., of Denison; Ernest F., also of Denison; Helena, the widow of E. Hansen; and Mary, who married Herman Luth and, like her sister Helena, is a resident of Germany.

Bernhardt J. Sibbert, of this review, acquired his education in Germany where he remained until sixteen years of age. The spirit of adventure and the desire for broader opportunities led him to come to America in 1885 and, settling in Denison, Iowa, he entered the employ of J. B. Romans as a clerk. That he was loyal to the interests of his employer and faithful in the discharge of his duties was indicated by his admission to a partnership in 1900. As the years passed greater responsibilities were intrusted to him and since the retirement of Mr. Romans in January, 1906, the business has been carried on by B. J. Sibbert, E. R. Reimers and E. F. Sibbert. They have a well appointed hardware store, together with large automobile and machinery departments. Their sales reached an extensive figure annually, and the business, conducted along progressive lines, is constantly growing. In addition to his mercantile interests Mr. Sibbert is manager of the Opera House, and it is his purpose to provide Denison with a superior line of attractive entertainments.

On the 5th of June, 1895, Mr. Sibbert was joined in wedlock to Miss Amanda Gronau, a native of Clinton county, Iowa, where her parents, Carl and Mary (Heiden) Gronau, settled at an early day on coming to the United States from their native land of Germany. Of this marriage there is one s(mi, Carl.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Sibbert are adherents of the Methodist church and take an active interest in its work. For fifteen years Mr. Sibbert has been leader of the choir, and both he and his wife cooperate in other church activities. Fraternally he is connected with Sylvan Lodge, No. 507, A. F. & A. M.; Ark Chapter, No. 89, R. A. M.; and Dowdall Lodge, K. P. His study of the political questions and issues of the day has led to his stalwart support of the republican party. He does not seek nor desire office, however, preferring to concentrate his energies and his attention upon his business affairs, and in the successful conduct of his commercial interests the city is also a direct beneficiary.

Source: Meyers , F. W. History of Crawford County, Iowa: A Record of Settlement, Organization, Progress and Achievement. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co. 1911.

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